Many people grow up imagining they could learn to fly and do tricks in the air, looking down on others from above. Aerial fitness is allowing many adults to feel some of what they imagined as they hang in the air suspended from silk, and in September 2015, head aerial instructor Taylor Amick brought this sport to APSU students for the first time.

“When I was accepted into a grad program here at APSU, this was my main exercise and my main form of creativity. I didn’t want to lose that,” Amick said.

The aerial fitness program at APSU holds a beginner class on Mondays and Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., intermediate classes on Fridays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and Sundays from 3 to 4 p.m. The classes run on four-week schedules of eight classes and cost $2 per class, or $15 for eight classes.

Students are encouraged to bring yoga mats if they have them for stretching and warm-up exercises at the beginning of classes, and water to keep themselves hydrated.

Relatively tight clothes are recommended to avoid accidents. Though shorts are allowed, students can avoid fabric burn on their lower legs by wearing longer pants.

In the beginner lessons directed by Caity Watson, students are given a breakdown of the basics, like how to stand on and pull yourself up on the fabric. There is no weight requirement or need for previous experience with weight training.

“We have a range of very beginners who have never done a pull-up to people who are doing multi-level drops,” Amick said. The students learn exercises that can be done at home to help build their strength between lessons.

“Aerial here is a completely different experience than the first year I did it in Texas. The atmosphere is more welcoming and the routines are more challenging,” sophomore English major Joanna Gonzales said.

Students get to participate in a showcase on Nov. 6, and have another chance to participate in the spring semester.

“It’s a journey. As long as people have the patience to take the journey at their own speed, they’ll get somewhere eventually,” Amick said.

Any APSU student who is interested in joining the class can get more information at the table set up in the Morgan University Center the week of Monday Sept. 19.

“To take that risk and stick to it is extremely rewarding,” Gonzales said. “In the beginning I was hesitant, but if I had never tried I never would have realized my potential in the air.”

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